Medea Benjamin awarded US Peace Memorial Foundation 2012 Peace Prize

US Politics
on 7 Comments

Medea Benjamin has been awarded the 2012 Peace Prize by The US Peace Memorial Foundation in recognition of “Creative Leadership on the Front Lines of the Antiwar Movement”.

Benjamin was presented the award at a ceremony in New York City on October 28 by US Peace Memorial Foundation Chair Michael D. Knox.

Knox thanked her for “tireless, creative, and inspiring peace leadership and activism” during which she has “demonstrated, written, and spoken about ending wars; called attention to the devastation of U.S. wars; and served as a role model for others.”

Medea Benjamin:

I am honored and delighted to accept this award on behalf of the thousands of Americans who try to model the kind of citizen diplomacy we want our government to emulate. While our elected officials continue to fund war and massive military spending, we need to stand up and call for a foreign policy that promotes negotiations, respect and nonviolent solutions.

As Co-Founder of CODEPINK (Women for Peace) Benjamin has organized and mobilized people from around the country and the world to take action where governments have failed us. She’s protested against torture, lead marches and peace delegations to war-torn regions of the world, been arrested and thrown out of countries, confronted politicians, interrupted diplomats and congressional sessions. Whether she’s exposing war profiteers, speaking at libraries and small town fairs, delivering humanitarian aid, or performing skits in front of the White House, Medea Benjamin is determined, courageous, passionate and a tireless advocate for peace and social justice.

In 2012 Benjamin authored Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control as well as organizing the first ever International Drone Summit with lawyers, scientists, academics, and activists kicking off an international campaign to reign in the use of drones. The day after the summit she disrupted Obama’s chief counter-terrorism adviser John Brennan at Woodrow Wilson International Center in Washington DC as he was speaking about the CIA’s drone program. The video of her disruption has been seen by hundreds of thousands of people and translated into many languages.

She then lead a peace delegation to Pakistan to protest the U.S. drone policy and participated in the historic march to Waziristan which ultimately generated international headlines around the world as well as domestically, covered by over 100 major news outlets.

Benjamin’s activism against drone warfare, including research, writing, speaking and protesting have been crucial in exposing one of the most horrific barbaric invasive deadly policies of our time.


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Medea Benjamin and US Peace Memorial Foundation Chair Michael Knox

US Peace Memorial Foundation:

In addition to receiving the 2012 Peace Prize, Medea Benjamin has also been designated as a Founding Member of the US Peace Memorial Foundation.  She joins previous Peace Prize recipients Noam Chomsky, Dennis Kucinich, and Cindy Sheehan. Many of her actions against war and for peace are documented in the US Peace Registry .

Since 2005, the US Peace Memorial Foundation has directed a nationwide effort to recognize peace leadership by publishing the US Peace Registry, awarding an annual Peace Prize, and planning for the US Peace Memorial in Washington DC.  These projects help move us toward a culture of peace as we honor the millions of thoughtful and patriotic Americans who have taken a public stand against one or more U.S. wars or who have devoted their time, energy, and other resources to finding peaceful solutions to international conflicts.  We celebrate these role models in hopes of inspiring other Americans to speak out against war and for peace. 

About Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a mother, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

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7 Responses

  1. Nevada Ned
    October 31, 2012, 2:48 pm

    Congrats to Medea Benjamin!!!!

  2. ritzl
    October 31, 2012, 2:59 pm

    “Tireless” is the understatement of the decade.

    Well deserved. Congrats.

    • Annie Robbins
      October 31, 2012, 4:53 pm

      “Tireless” is the understatement of the decade.

      you don’t say! it blows my mind how much territory she covers, figuratively and otherwise. just a knock out human being. what guts.

      i completely love the video embedded in “hundreds of thousands of people” in the text. here it is again:

      ok, i have to tell a personal story. my first code pink experience was when i went on the delegation to gaza after the massacre. by happenstance i ended up on the same flight to cairo as medea and ran into her at the airport gate in ny. she was sitting on the floor doing paperwork and we had never met but of course i knew exactly who she was. just sitting there on the floor with some paperwork on her lap working. (maybe it was a computer but i recall papers) anyway, she looked like a teenager and larger than life. the next 3 weeks was a whirlwind in my life.

      there were too many things that happened to enumerate, my first codepink actions, some of which were planned split seconds after hearing some news. ann, rae, tighe, pam, shelly all amazing activists. at the end we wrote down what we were going to do when we got back and how we were going to express our activism. i said i wanted to write and speak. i think it was on that trip i made a commitment. it changed my life. if i could do 1% of what medea does, if each of us could do just that much we could change the world together.

      so medea, if you’re listening, you and rae passed out those papers asked us too write it down where we would be in a year from now and i’m still on that road. thanks for the inspiration.

  3. Kathleen
    October 31, 2012, 6:08 pm

    Medea deserves this award along with her peace team. It has been wonderful to witness the “tireless” Medea turn some of her attention on the I/P issue the last five or so years.

  4. DICKERSON3870
    October 31, 2012, 6:12 pm

    RE: “Medea Benjamin has been awarded the 2012 Peace Prize by The US Peace Memorial Foundation in recognition of ‘Creative Leadership on the Front Lines of the Antiwar Movement’. . . Knox thanked her for “tireless, creative, and inspiring peace leadership and activism”* . . . ~ Annie Robbins

    AN HOMAGE (OF SORTS) brought to you by the kindly, caring folks who make new, reformulated Ziocaine Über-Xtreme®:

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    Pretty in pink
    Isn’t she?
    Pretty in pink
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    ~ The Psychedelic “Furriers”

    The Psychedelic Furs, Pretty In Pink [VIDEO, 04:29] –
    ** Pretty in pink, or not. Isn’t she?


  5. AlGhorear
    October 31, 2012, 8:28 pm

    The award to the tireless and inspirational Medea Benjamin (as well as her fellow Codepink activists!) is certainly well-deserved and I’m glad to see her honored with this award. Just compare Medea’s work with our war monger and drone strike president Barack Obama and the irony is stinging.

    Annie, thanks so much for sharing your personal story with Medea and Codepink. You have certainly lived up to the commitment you made following your Gaza trip.

  6. just
    October 31, 2012, 9:52 pm

    A truly magnificent person who is an inspiration to me and many of my dear ones.

    Standing ovation from me and a sincere thank you for all you stand for– you humble me, and have my gratitude and admiration. Even when I feel dispirited, you raise me up with your energy.

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